Inflation is painfully high, but some relief can come
NEW YORK – Inflation is painfully high, but we hope it’s almost as bad as it gets.
Consumer prices rose 6.8% for the 12 months ending in November, a 39-year high. Many economists expect inflation to stay close to this level for a few more months, but then moderate until 2022 for a variety of reasons. And they don’t see a repeat of the 1970s or the early 1980s, when inflation hit 10% during frightening times.
Households might even see relief in some areas within weeks. Prices have fallen in global crude oil and natural gas markets, resulting in lower prices at the pump and for home heating. This should contain inflation somewhat, even as prices continue to rise elsewhere in the economy.
Boris Johnson: UK faces ‘tidal wave’ of omicron cases
LONDON – Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Sunday said Britain was facing a ‘tidal wave’ of infections from the omicron variant coronavirus, and he announced a huge increase in booster vaccinations to bolster defenses against her.
Johnson said in a televised statement that anyone aged 18 and over will be offered a third shot of the vaccine by the end of this month. The previous target was the end of January.
He said cases of the highly transmissible variant were doubling every two or three days and “there’s an omicron tidal wave ahead.”
To combat it, he announced a “national mission” to deliver booster vaccines with pop-up vaccination centers and clinics 7 days a week.
British scientists believe existing vaccines appear less effective at preventing symptomatic infections in people exposed to omicron, although preliminary data shows efficacy appears to increase between 70% and 75% after a third dose of the vaccine.
Satellite images, expert suggests upcoming Iranian space launch
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – Iran appears to be gearing up for a space launch as negotiations continue in Vienna over its tattered nuclear deal with world powers, according to an expert and satellite images.
Likely liftoff from Iranian Imam Khomeini spaceport comes as Iranian state media offered a list of upcoming planned satellite launches underway for the Islamic Republic’s civilian space program, which has been beset by a series of failed launches . Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guards run their own parallel program that successfully put a satellite into orbit last year.
Carrying out a launch in the middle of the Vienna talks fits the intransigent stance of negotiators in Tehran, who have already called the previous six rounds of diplomacy a “draft”, infuriating Western nations. The new German foreign minister went so far as to warn that “time is running out at this point”.
Fox presenter Chris Wallace makes his own news with his CNN appearance
NEW YORK – Veteran presenter Chris Wallace left Fox News after 18 years for CNN, dealing a blow to Fox’s news operations at a time when it was overshadowed by network opinion.
Wallace announced the surprising news that he was leaving at the end of the “Fox News Sunday” show he moderated, and within two hours, CNN announced that he was joining his new streaming service as a presenter. CNN + is slated to debut in early 2022.
Spanish island volcanic eruption hits local record 85 days
MADRID – A volcanic eruption in Spain’s Canary Islands shows no signs of ending after 85 days, becoming the longest eruption on the island of La Palma on Sunday.
The eruption has grown and ebbed since it started spitting lava on September 19. It has since destroyed nearly 3,000 local buildings and forced several thousand people to abandon their homes.
Venerated Mexican singer Vicente Fernández dies at 81
MEXICO CITY – Vicente Fernández, an iconic and beloved singer of regional Mexican music who has received three Grammys and nine Latin Grammys and inspired a new generation of performers, including his son Alejandro Fernández, passed away on Sunday. He was 81 years old.
Fernández was known for hits such as ‘El Rey’ and ‘Lástima que seas ajena’, his mastery of the ranchera genre, and his dark and sleek mariachi costumes with their matching wide-brimmed sombreros.
His music has attracted fans far beyond the borders of Mexico. Songs like “Volver, Volver” and “Como Mexico no hay dos” were extremely popular among Mexican immigrant communities in the United States because of the way they expressed longing for the motherland.